Apple has launched a new program that offers customers the chance to hand-in third party or counterfeit chargers in exchange for a discounted replacement.
The program is in response to recent reports of customers being injured or killed by using charging iPhones. In an official statement Apple said: “Recent reports have suggested that some counterfeit and third party adapters may not be designed properly and could result in safety issues.”
In two separate cases in China this July a 30-year-old man was put into a coma and a 23-year-old air hostess was killed. In both incidents it was suspected that electrical faults in counterfeit chargers were to blame.
“Customer safety is a top priority at Apple,” said Apple. “That’s why all of our products — including USB power adapters for iPhone, iPad, and iPod — undergo rigorous testing for safety and reliability and are designed to meet government safety standards around the world.”
“If you have concerns about any of your USB power adapters, you can drop them off at an Apple Retail Store or at an Apple Authorized Service Provider. We will ensure that these adapters are disposed of in an environmentally friendly way.”
Apple will then validate customers’ iPhones, iPads, and iPods using the product serial number. Replacement chargers will then be offered at a discounted price of $10 or “an approximate equivalent in local currency.”
The scheme, known as the USB Power Adapter Takeback Program, will launch in China on August 9th and in the US on the 16th. It is running for a limited time only and will end on October 18th, 2013.
As well as the ‘Takeback Program’ Apple have also introduced a new page on their Chinese site helping customers to identify counterfeit products.